Many seniors take multiple prescription medications every day. Whether these pills are to manage preexisting conditions or prevent new ones from developing, it’s essential that seniors take their medications at the correct time and in the right dosage. If seniors forget to take their prescriptions, it can have a major impact on their health. Here are six medication management tips for seniors and their caregivers.
1. Maintain an Accurate Medication List
It’s important for seniors to have an up-to-date medication list, which should contain details of every medication they’re currently taking. Every time your loved one is prescribed a new medication or has his or her dosage changed, amend the list to reflect these changes. You may even want to keep a separate list that notes when and why the medication changes were made. If your loved one starts displaying unusual side effects, the medication list can help you detect which prescription is likely to blame.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Anchorage home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Understand Potential Side Effects
Be aware of the side effects of your loved one’s medications. You may want to create a spreadsheet that lists the medications, the possible side effects, and whether they have negative interactions with other medicines. A written list of potential side effects could also come in handy during a doctor’s appointment.
3. Don’t Ignore the Pharmacy Label
When you pick up your loved one’s prescriptions from the pharmacy, make sure to read the labels carefully. The labels list important information about side effects, ideal dosage, and intended purpose of the medication. If your loved one is taking multiple medications for the same condition, you may want to talk to the doctor about whether they’re all necessary. Using one pharmacy is also a good idea. If a single pharmacy maintains records of all of your loved one’s current prescriptions, the pharmacist may spot the potential for adverse interactions.
4. Store Everything in One Place
All of your loved one’s prescriptions should be stored in one place. If you keep everything in one spot, it’s easier to see what your loved one is taking on a daily basis, if it’s time for a refill, and whether any of the medications are expired. Storing all medications in one location also prevents pill bottles from getting misplaced.
Some seniors need help managing their medications. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Anchorage seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
5. Use a Pill Organizer
If seniors take their medications without the assistance of their caregivers, they may benefit from a pill organizer. Make sure to select a pill container large enough for your loved one’s daily intake. For example, if your loved one takes pills three times a day, make sure the pill box has enough compartments. Help your loved one sort his or her pills every week. If your loved one needs extra help remembering, find a pill organizer with an alarm function.
6. Invest in a Medication Reminder System
Even if your loved one has a pill organizer with an alarm, he or she may appreciate an additional medication reminder system. Your loved one could set alarms on his or her cell phone or use a medication reminder app like Medisafe.
Proper medication management is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.